Traffic banned from Carrow Road on matchdays

A long-awaited ban on traffic near Norwich City’s Carrow Road stadium on match days comes into force with the Ipswich derby game this Sunday lunchtime.

Norwich City Council has made the traffic regulation order closing the roads – described as a death-trap for fans – as an experiment for 18 months, but it could then be extended indefinitely.

The order will be enforced with manned barriers and paid for by Norfolk County Council.

The city council said the aim was to make it safer for supporters and members of the public on match days by banning motorists from entering, travelling or waiting in nearby streets.

Under the ban Carrow Road will be closed from its junction with Koblenz Avenue to its junction with Kerrison Road, between 1.30pm and 5.20pm, and from its junction with King Street to its junction with Clarence Road, between 4.50pm and 5.20pm, on Saturday match days.

Other nearby streets will also be closed at certain times to accommodate the more than 26,000 Norwich City fans who leave the ground on foot on match days.

Norwich City Council spokesman Amy Lyall said today: “The number of fans leaving the ground creates significant hold-ups for traffic, and can be dangerous as pedestrians and cars try to navigate Carrow Road at the same time. This order will allow the road to be closed while fans leave the club. We anticipate it will usually take about 15-20 minutes after a match for the road to clear and then it will be reopened, but we are able to close for longer if necessary. As it will be easier for pedestrians to clear the area quickly, we anticipate this closure will mean waiting times for drivers will be shorter than in the current circumstances at the end of a match.”

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The news has been welcomed by fans and campaigners who have lobbied for the road closures.

Kathy Blake, secretary of the Norwich City Independent Supporters’ Association, said: “I think it’s been coming.

“There have been one or two confrontational incidents between fans and motorists, when motorists have not been prepared to slow down.

“It was only a matter of time before somebody got run over and a lot of fans wrote to the football club about it. I think it’s a good idea: there will be one or two football-hating motorists who will moan about it, but you cannot please everybody. In the interest of fans it’s good for safety, and it’s only for a few hours on match days.”

Norwich city councillor Judith Lubbock and South Norfolk district councillor Tim East also welcomed the plans, after lobbying for their implementation.

Mrs Lubbock said: “I have been complaining about the situation, as it’s a death-trap on match days, with fans leaving the ground competing with cars on the road, especially now that it’s dark in the afternoons.

“It really is a dangerous situation and it’s common sense not to mix cars with fans leaving the ground.”

Mr East said it was brilliant news, but expressed concerns that the road closures could leave supporters, especially those who were disabled, like himself, with nowhere to park near the ground.

“It’s taken a long time to come around and it’s been a long wait, but I welcome it,” he said.

“I’ve been a Norwich supporter for 50 years, and for nearly all that time the traffic management regulations around the ground were paid for by the club, but recently that stopped. But it’s a good development and it will make it safer for supporters leaving the ground.”

Businesses in the area are not expecting a loss of trade because of the ban.

A Morrisons spokesman said: “We believe that this is a similar scheme to one that was implemented by the council a few years ago for the safety of pedestrians on match days and we do not expect to be affected by the precaution.”

Under the traffic regulation order, Koblenz Avenue will also be closed from its junction with Carrow Road to its junction with Canary Way and Canary Way will be closed from its junction with Koblenz Avenue to its junction with Carrow Road, from 4.50 to 5.20pm on Saturday match days.

Other times will apply for Sunday or weekday games, and alternative routes will be in place.

Further details of the traffic regulation order can be inspected at the second floor reception at City Hall in Norwich during normal office hours.

Norwich City Football Club did not wish to comment.